Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

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Sundays are for apologising about the recent lack of Sunday Papers. Holidays and Rezzed are forces that cannot be defeated.

On The Verge, Laura Hudson argued that Ready Player One is emblematic (and part) of the problems that have lead to the “cyber dystopia” we currently inhabit. There were points in this where I made an involuntary “huh” noise as Hudson joined dots that I hadn’t quite connected before, creating a powerful challenge against privilege, careless nostalgia and the inherent value of connecting people to each other.

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Agony - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brock Wilbur)

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Feels like it has been a while since a game was in the news for clashing with the ratings board. Outlast 2 is the last example I can remember where the threat of the dreaded Adults Only (AO) would be handed down to a title, preventing it from releasing on consoles. Well, the Kickstarter funded twisted Hell journey Agony has been leaning into its promise to be the most disturbing game of all time, and the ESRB agreed. Last week, Agony’s developer informed Kickstarter backers that, in order to get an M rating approved, the game has been censored/altered on all platforms, but PC owners will get access to the uncut material via a patch.

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Firewatch - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brock Wilbur)

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While the company webpage still reads “Campo Santo is a small but scrappy video game developer in San Francisco,” that will probably need some updating in the immediate future. The twelve person team behind Firewatch and the forthcoming In The Valley of Gods has been acquired by Valve, where the team will remain intact. Campo Santo is responsible for critically and commercially successful titles, and they will continue work at Valve in Bellevue wrapping up In The Valley of Gods, which of course, will now be a Valve game.

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Hollow Knight - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brock Wilbur)

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Hollow Knight incites a bit of debate around the site. As John brought up in his review last year: what do you do with a game that is genuinely good but rather unoriginal? It’s a Metroidvania game that a lot of us picked up because it was simply the most recent Metroidvania game, and that’s not the best excuse for buying a game. In the year since launch, Australian studio Team Cherry has met this criticism by consistently adding new, free DLC to the title, with each pack helping to define and improve on the base game. Today, Hollow Knight: Lifeblood is available, and if you already own the game the update is probably installed.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brock Wilbur)

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A proper modding community can keep a game world alive long after the studio behind that title has put it to pasture. Or, more accurately in this case, when the studio just keeps porting the original game to new devices instead of, you know, making new entries. Skyrim has some of the most in-depth world building teams on the mod market, and instead of merely remastering or HD’ing their way through old titles, they’re re-inventing the wheel. The Beyond Skyrim team just released the trailer and description for their expansion Iliac Bay and the production values are awe-inspiring.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

ElDewrito

Blasphemous as it sounds, I really like Halo. I like the floaty jumps, the slugfest combat where landing the first hit doesn’t always mean a win, the swooshy, slidey vehicles and the range of multiplayer modes. So naturally, Microsoft chose to release the free-to-play Halo Online in Russia only and cancel it before it could leave the early beta stages of development.

Legally fuzzy, perhaps, but thanks to a highly dedicated community and a lot of open-source poking around, development of Halo Online has quietly continued for years. Today, ElDewrito 0.6 is live, and it’s the best PvP Halo experience you can find on PC today.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brock Wilbur)

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Hearthstone director Ben Brode has made the surprise announcement to depart Blizzard Entertainment. The guy that served as the card game’s lead both behind-the-scenes and in-front-of-the-scenes made the announcement in a post on the Battle.net forums explaining what a difficult choice it was and, vaguely, where he’s headed now.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brock Wilbur)

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DOS Boot is just Brock digging into old DOS/Windows games and talking half-remembering cool and bizarre experiences that are only available on abandon-ware sites at this point. Weekends should be for having fun and by god, we’re going to have some wholesome gosh dang fun on RPS Weekends.>

There’s a great one and done TV series from the early 90s called Earth 2. And by great I mean “god bless em for trying.” It’s on and off of Netflix these days, so you can venture into those waters should you so choose, but it was the sort of thing that meant a great deal to me as a kid because it showed the potential of life on another planet where, perhaps, people wouldn’t be so mean to me and the people who had been mean to me would have all died a terrible death thanks to an asteroid or the sun reaching out to do a big hug. While that show made the rebuilding of life on another planet into a fun adventure, a game called Outpost was released at the same time, and it taught me how much of a slog survival could be.

It was also one of my favorite games. Yeah, that sucks to admit.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jupiter Hadley)

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Do you know how many different ways you can move a string and some pegs? Let me show you, because you will certainly find out if you play the next game listed. Bending a string around a bunch of pegs leaves so much open space to wrap your string around and so many pictures to create. If you aren t interested in the simplicity of string based puzzles, you can attempt to connect planets together to trade, frantically try to clean your room before your mother comes home, take on a bunch of monsters by blowing them off your platform, and flee from a cat in a world of hazards. Check out this week s free games and read on… (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brock Wilbur)

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Edmund McMillen made this game. I don’t have to tell you that because if you know who Edmund McMillen is then you know what all of his unholy creations look like. The creator of Binding of Isaac and co-creator of Super Meat Boy has a delightfully odd new title headed our way this year, and we finally have a gameplay trailer to go with it. The Legend of Bum-bo is a randomly generated, turn-based puzzle RPG where you take the role of Bum-bo (from the The Binding of Isaac) as he punches the faces off hordes of paper goons and takes their coins, which are then wasted on games at the local casino. It’s very crude and stupid, with dumb voices and monsters that are piles of poo.

It’s also intensely charming and I know I’m going to fall in love with it.

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